The work of the Lord is reviving here. Souls are being saved, and God's own children stirred up to prayer and praise. Dear John Vine has been here for three weeks on a visit to his father, who is the Independent minister of this town and his preaching has been greatly blessed. The chapels here and at Baddesley have been crowded. There is a great work going on amongst the colliers. Mr Vine preached to a number of them at the mouth of the coal pit at Baddesley, and we have no doubt, from the attention of the men and the effect produced, that good was done. Several of the converted colliers held a prayer meeting down in the pit that God might bless his Word that evening, and the Lord answered prayer. Many are in the greatest distress on account of sin and are earnestly seeking Jesus. Backsliders have been restored, and those who were utter strangers to the grace of God have been brought out to hear the gospel and are now in deep concern about their souls.
At Witherley there was such a crowd gathered together that the chapel would not hold half of them and Mr Vine preached out of doors by moonlight for an hour. The power of God seemed to be resting on the whole assembly, and, when those who were anxious were asked to remain, the chapel was soon filled, and numbers were weeping. Several professed to be brought to Jesus that night.
The labours of his father, the Rev. Thomas Vine, have been greatly owned and blessed by God. He came to Polesworth about six months ago, and since then twenty-five have been received into the church, and about that number besides whom we believe are genuinely converted to God. Several deeply interesting letters have been received from the young converts. Among those who have great cause to bless God forever sending our minister here is myself, one of the wildest and vilest
sinners. I sinned not ignorantly, as some, but against light, knowledge, and conscience. I always attended Divine service, generally at the Independent chapel, not because of an inclination to go, for I have none, but because it was a rule in the family. I have gone sometimes to make game of the servants of the Most High God, and have frequently taken books of the worst description to read during the service to kill time, but in a short time He arrested my career of vice by the heavy hand of
affliction. One Sabbath evening as I was sitting in His house making fun as usual, I was seized with a faintness... refused their office. I fell down in the gallery, for I was one of the choir; my senses left me, my friends carried me out and applied restoratives, hardly knowing whether I was dead or alive. He restored my health; what for? to serve and praise Him? No, but to become, if possible, ten times worse than before, sinning with a high hand, and an ou ritstretched arm. I wished there was no God. I took great pleasure indiculing the Holy Scriptures for the amusement of my companions. But He had not given me up. Again He was pleased to lay me on a bed of sickness, but in answer to the prayers of my dear parents, He gave me back my health and strength; but I grew worse than ever; I hated God and despised his people. Oh, how mad was I. Even so late as last Christmas Day I told one of our Christian friends that I wished all persons were at the bottom of hell, where I said they belonged. I often wonder that his justice did not demand my life, my soul at once; but "He desireth not the death of one sinner, but would rather he should turn from his wickedness and live." A dear young sister in Jesus spoke a very few words to me, they went home to my heart, and I found no rest until one Sabbath, three weeks after, our dear pastor got hold of me and prayed with me; then I was enabled to believe on Jesus, and then I found life and peace. I am happy to say that two of my sisters, and two brothers also, have been brought to know the Lord since Christmas.
"The Revival," April 2nd, 1863.